Sunday, December 21, 2014

My condolences to the NYPD

I recognize that police officers around the country has been taking a beating thanks to two incidents involving Black males who were killed by police officers. Nothing should ever justify thinking that those incidents are worth engaging in cold-blooded murder of any police officer.

I sincerely hope those who engage in acts of civil disobedience regarding those incidents involving Eric Garner and Michael Brown aren't emboldened by what happened on Saturday.

Graphic above via 2nd City Cop.

BTW, another thing you see over at 2nd City Cop is how police officers responded to the Mayor before his press conference. If I understand correctly he didn't exactly support the NYPD or the officer involved in the death of Eric Garner.

ALSO, here's more on this incident by It even shows some of the chilling posts before the incident and other incidents that happened before the murderer came to Brooklyn. I'm glad that the instagram account was taken down, it would've ruined my mood.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

CTA "shell game"

This is what happens when I don't stay on top of the CTA Tattler. In this case the blogger here didn't play this game and immediately contacted the motorman. He's a blogger and he WILL report you!

For the most part I say nothing. Gambling is illegal anyway and other solicitation activities on CTA property. They will pick the wrong car or the wrong day and get caught. I'm definitely surprised they haven't be assaulted themselves by someone who took exception to the hustling. Especially after losing a large sum of cash.

BTW, I ran into this last week leaving 95th Street. The train just pulled from the station and he already got started. Found some people who were willing although someone was part of the shell game even if he didn't use the board. Regardless I try not to get pulled into that because I have no interest in playing.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Remember "Night After Night"

[VIDEO] Often when writing about TV I used to watch in the past, I also write that often times this was stuff that should've been over my head. The reason is basically that this was not TV for a child to watch.

Strange how, I recognize this now. I've written about David Letterman or Arsenio Hall and while it was something to watch that was amuzing it should've been bedtime for me. Somehow I got away with it when it shouldn't have been possible.

One of those shows I remember is Night After Night with Allan Havey. Actually I barely remember it but thanks to YouTube some clips of that long gone talk show are still available. And even found this hilarious clip you see above from the show where Havey shoots his sidekick Nick Bakai because he feared he'd try to take over the show.

It's kind of like Andy Richter being groomed to take Conan O'Brien's TBS show. And imagine Conan pulling out a pistol to eliminate his main competition and Richter only in a silly way falling over after getting shot. Well I mean Conan could do something like that and take it to a whole other level. Let's also hope Conan or any of his writers aren't reading this blog. :P

Regardless I've seen some critiques of Havey's long gone TV talk show. It has been lauded as much more interesting that his contemporaries that aired in the late 1980s and early 90s. It probably couldn't have beaten Johnny Carson, but could it have beaten Pat Sajak (who had his own late night snow in the late 80s)? Could it have beaten Arsenio? Could it have beaten Letterman?

The show aired on a predecessor network to Comedy Central and unfortunately was cancelled way too soon. However since that time Comedy Central has similar shows such as The Daily Show and even The Colbert Report.

Since The Colbert Report will end production soon as namesake host Stephen Colbert is set to step up to the plate as the successor to David Letterman on CBS' The Late Show perhaps Comedy Central should consider a return to a late night show. Perhaps a return of a similar program to Night After Night is in order?

BTW, just for laughs Havey's program featured an "audience of one" who was picked from a mailbag and sat in on the show during the broadcast. Sometimes they participated in sketches as the young lady in the clip had. So here's a website of one individual who served as an audience of one and made quite a splash himself.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

AP: Today in History for December 14th

[VIDEO] Why is this video being shown, because today is my birthday. Historic events happened on my birthday including the death of our 1st Prez George Washington. And I also learned King George VI of the UK was also born. So hey I have something of an history birthday but realizing this day is not the only day of historic events. :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

This is mind boggling #icantbreathe

I read this from a neighborhood news outlet known as The Citizen here in Chicago:
Eric Garner was overweight and in poor health. He was a nuisance to shop owners who complained about him selling untaxed cigarettes on the street. When police came to arrest him, he resisted. And if he could repeatedly say, "I can't breathe," it means he could breathe.

Rank-and-file New York City police officers and their supporters have been making such arguments even before a grand jury decided against charges in Garner's death, saying the possibility that he contributed to his own demise has been drowned out in the furor over race and law enforcement.
I recognize that the police already has a difficult job and because of this incident and the one in Ferguson, Missouri had only served to make it much worse.

Still, I think the police in New York are only digging themselves a bigger whole. Regardless of how you say he can breath because he declared that he couldn't a man still died. Some discipline or accountability is still in order for that officer.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Capitol Fax: Is that really necessary? #blacklivesmatter

[VIDEO] Over the past weekend I shared news stories over at the FB page for my blog The Sixth Ward about the protests regarding Eric Garner out of NYC.

Last week I has already posted about what Rich Miller wrote about this story using his own angle. And then he writes about it today with a local twist.

Every now and then I write about 2nd City Cop. Basically it's a blog written by Chicago police officers (anonymously) for Chicago police officers. Of course since both of these cases that have stirred the races up in the past two weeks involved cops I should've know they would have something to say.

BTW, if you dare venture there Rich warns you and I warn you that the comments there are often NSFW. Those commenters have opinions will state them vulgarly and will use racial epithets to make their points. If not outright racial epithets the comments will be harshly racial.

Of course to start Miller shares the story of what happens when you dare protest the police have something stolen from you and see the actions of the police. Yup one could say f*ck the police until they need them. However the issue of this story was that it apparently was fake and patently racial as the thief was purported to be black and victim was a white female.

We could agree ironic but this didn't actually happen during all the protests. Although hey I'm sure this happened somewhere in the country perhaps this does happen.

However, and why the video above was posted is because this actually did happen. I'm sure some police officers see a little bit of everything and are numb to it. And some may well want to thumb their noses at the citizens who they must serve, however, the citizens who don't appreciate it. Then turn around and wonder why there are those citizens who don't appreciate it.

So the symbolism of playing "Sweet Home Alabama" during a Black lives matter protest in a predominantly Black Chicago west side neighborhood could be seen as a bad idea. I do like the song and don't consider it racial, but I recognize that context-wise this could be as bad as playing "Dixie" on loud speakers in a police vehicle in a Black neighborhood

It's already easy to point fingers at police and all we have to do is pick a reason. We're in our rights to point out the boneheads when we see them.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Civil rights 2.0

You know right now on that front people are stirred up about what happened with Michael Brown in Missouri and Eric Garner in New York. Groups around the nation are engaging in acts of civil disobedience to bring attention to the unfortunate deaths of those two individuals in the hands of police.

To be sure, it's great to know that whatever the cause it's truly great to know how passionate many Americans are about these two cases. I have an opinion of them that have been shared here, however, other than some video evidence or even some eyewitness testimony I'll never really know what really happened. And unfortunately Brown and Garner aren't able to speak up for themselves.

Regardless, people are passionate in their beliefs that those two men deserve justice and that we must recognize that they have rights before their deaths. So at this point the debate is whether or not it was the right call to let those police officers off the hook legally in these deaths.

While I definitely could side with the officer involved in the Michael Brown shooting the case of Garner well that deserves more than the slap on the wrist than that officer got. A man died and apparently some of his last words showed that well the officers should've relented and yet he died. Even if he may have been cleared that shouldn't end the matter in my opinion.

Regardless there is a reason why I titled this post as I had.

It seems activism as being seen today has been reminiscent of the civil rights movememnt. For quite a while I had been convinced that this movement has been dying. It seemed to have been the province of those who had been fighting the stuggle way back when.

Americans have been passionate about many things over the years. Pick a subject government spending, right to bear arms, race relations, civil rights, integration, the fairness of business practices, privacy, etc. American's clearly want to make the nation as fair and safe for everyone as possible.

It's easy for me to dismiss these protests as being stirred up by race hustlers. Perhaps now we're seeing a new generation of activists taking their new roles and speaking up for what's right. My only hope is that they learn the lessons of those who came before them and ensure that that their activism truly results in changes that makes our land more fair and safe for everyone!

Friday, December 05, 2014

Capitol Fax: “Official violence” for the bottom, not for the top

Rich Miller before he shut down his blog for the weekend - as is often customary when there isn't an election or major news - wrote a post about what happened to Eric Garner in New York. Mr. Garner had been on video approached by police and a confrontation ensued where he lost his life in a chokehold.

Alas the investigation of Garner's death which resulted in the police officer involved in his death cleared of any wrong doing. In addition to that this comes on the heels of what happened in Ferguson, MO before the Thanksgiving holiday.

Protests sparked after the clearing of the officer involved in the shooting of Michael Brown and this week more protests after the clearing of the office involved in the death of Garner. You may have seem some of these protests on your social media feeds - instagram, facebook, or twitter.

Regardless since Miller's blog is basically a policy/political blog he takes a look at the laws that are on the books in this nation that only serve to imprison more people. And while there are laws governing petty crime few laws to govern those individuals who are at the top of society.

What's going on here?

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Wishing I can get into real estate

Photo via Curbed Chicago
If only I had enough money to get into real estate. I would like to do rehab a house the way this greystone on the north side of Chicago had been. It's either that or build a house exactly the way this greystone was rehabbed.

As the "blogmaster" for The Sixth Ward I've followed real estate in the often beleaguered south side neighborhood of Englewood. Recently there were information on a vacant lot program which allowed Englewood neighbors in a pilot program to purchase and close on vacant lots there. The cost wasn't entirely cost prohibitive.

It's certainly cost prohibitive to build on those lots if that's what you chose to do with them. At the same time it's not necessary to build on those lots although if I was able to purchase a lot that's exactly what I would like to do. If nothing else until one gets the capital to build anything it's OK to turn these lots into oases instead of lots where weeds would grow and trash would collect.

Of course Englewood isn't the only neighborhood in Chicago where such a program is necessary. And who knows perhaps I'll have the luxury of buying a lot in the future and hopefully build the house I want to build. Or more likely have some property when a neighborhood turns around.

I mention Englewood because I'm starting to believe it's on the cusp. With a major CTA rail line and then a Whole Foods Market coming to such an impoverished neighborhood it seems very likely.

Now to start getting ready to get into real estate.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Detroit housing & gentrification...

Photo by Life Remodeled 2014/flickr
 Today we take another quick trip to the Motor City.

For years I've read about young Caucasian gentrifiers who are coming to Detroit to buy up the properties and spark a revival for the beleaguered Michigan city. Then there's a flip side, most cities that have properties that are delinquent on property taxes and you can buy them from the original owners. Sometimes that means you'd have to put the owners out.

That's what this Guardian article from last month says about these young gentrifiers in Detroit. Many of them realized that they have to put the owners out after buying their homes via an auction. In one case the new owner sold the house back although for a lot more than he paid for it while helping the original owners take care of some of their taxes.

As much as I want to own some real estate in the future, it would be difficult for me to have to consider something like this. It would be very difficult for me to want to put out the people who lived in their houses. It would be even more difficult to want to sell the property back to them.

Regardless this is a good article and I hope you give it a read.